Mr Miggle

August 7th, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

I very rarely criticize coaches for personnel decisions and I wasn't here. They know far more about their players than I could ever hope to. It's inevitable that some of their decisions won't work out. My point was simply that no one even seemed to notice that statement. If Carr, or god forbid RR, had been the coach, the Monday morning quarterbacks would have pounced.


August 7th, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

The thing was, he was a fifth year senior.  I noticed that comment, too.  But if he came back too soon (and I don't know whether he meant he came back two weeks too early or two months too early), then tthat was his last shot.  Coming back any later could have been just as detrimental to the team, if not more so.

If Woolfolk was a sophomore, there might be a different reaction.  Sometimes seniors just need to tough it out for themselves and for the team.


August 7th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

The Fulmer Cup issues are mainly with Rodriguez's recruits, not Hoke's.  Furman got arrested, Robinson had legal issues, Demens had legal issues, Toussaint has legal issues, Campbell, etc.  Unless I'm mistaken, the only Hoke recruit to run afoul of the law so far is Frank Clark.

I know these guys are Hoke's responsibility now, but he's a steward of mostly Rodriguez-recruited guys right now.  The only Hoke recruits on the roster so far are a few from 2011 (Clark, Heitzman, etc.) and the 2012 kids, most of whom just arrived.


August 7th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

And just to throw out there before someone talks about "RR recruited Thugs", most of those issues are something that every kid in college has. Big Will, Furman, Robinson, Demens all did things that aren't eyebrow raising. Drunkenly sliding across a carhood, running into a parking structure gate, civil issues with apartment payments, and the issue with Furman (don't know how to describe that one) is all something that happens just about everywhere. They didn't mug someone, or anything like that.

The only iffy one is Frank Clark, and we don't know the whole story on that one yet.


August 7th, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

Demens and Stonum (not sure he adds to this year's Fulmer but definitely hurt the team by continuing to fuck up) were Carr commits.  It isn't like Hoke wouldn't have recruited BWC, Fitz, etc. either (he certainly hasn't refrained from playing them and in some cases giving them "team leader" type status).   

I don't think it is anything more than random happenstance and kids being kids, but I do think if Coach Hoke wasn't so well thought of by the media there would actually be a story about it instead of basically silence or the occasional "he'll be awesome at discipline" platitudes based on zero evidence/results.  In sort of the same way that the Marlin Jackson, Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington, Kelly Baraka, and Larry Harrison (and I'm sure a few others) situations never seemed to alter anyone's perception of Coach Carr.


August 7th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

You mean other than suspending a player for a whole year and then kicking him off the team at position of need?

I think it's hard to keep 85 other human beings out of trouble all the time, but all you can do is handle it when it happens. I think Lloyd, Rich and Brady have generally done what's right.


August 7th, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

Add in that, aside from the recent Toussaint and Clark incidents, everything else proved to be minor or even comic. Unpaid rent, a misunderstanding about social media, breaking a parking lot gate, and a Dukes of Hazard hood slide gone wrong hardly scream "program out of control."  What seem to get people up in arms are drugs and violence, neither of which we've seen here (the Feagin thing, for example, looked really bad for RichRod, even though he seemingly handled that the right way).

I do think Hoke will field some criticism if he doesn't suspend Toussaint and Clark for the Alabama game.

micheal honcho

August 7th, 2012 at 12:03 PM ^

RR had great success at every level he coached, until he hit the real big time at Michigan, same goes for Kelly. Great at GVSU, great at CMU, great at Cinci. Once he got to a place that played a legitimate big time schedule and had big time expectations he's flailed around like a lost bird. Something I did not predict, in fact I predicted just the opposite for him at ND. I took his previous success as an indication of what would be his future. I was wrong and will gladly admit it. Its a shame others here cannot ever seem to do the same in regards to RR.

The trot our Casteel and his FEI numbers and he & RR's success in the big least as evidence that future success was/is inevitible. How many quality teams did Casteel's defenses hold to ZERO?? Last year when we beat Minnesota like we did, shut down Nebraska etc. I was thinking to myself that RR could have coached 10 years at Michigan and possibly NEVER beat anyone by a shutout. After all, if we use the past as a predicter of the future then WVU's record against the best of the weakling big east says that his defense, even at its best under his boy Casteel, was NEVER on par with the real big boys that play brutal conference schedules.

I love the we get to see them back together in a somewhat legitimate conference. I predict that they wont shut out Washington state or whomever the weakest teams in that conference are in a given year. That for me will finally and conclusively dispell this idea that if we'd just hired his boy it would have all been different.


August 7th, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

Man, it's like MLive just threw up in the comment box.

WVU's defenses under Casteel were fine, and they'll be fine in the Pac 10/12.  RR's problems would not have been fixed completely by hiring Casteel, but imagine last year with Mattison.  Do you honestly think the defense would have been as good without him?  Of course not.  Or how about the offense without Al Borges?  Those guys were people Hoke trusted and he was able to bring them along; Casteel was RR's preferred defensive coach and Martin and co. closed the purse strings and that's why he went with Schafer and, later, GERG.  At any point over those three years, they could have said to RR "bring in your DC and we'll pay for it."  That didn't happen, and regardless of why, it definitely had an effect on his performance.

WVU's defense have statistically been fine, and held their own against some pretty good offenses both in and outside of the Big East.  And let's not act like the B1G is full of dynamic offenses - holding the tire fire that was Minny's offense last year (and without their top QB) was fine and all, but NW, MSU, ND, OSU, and VaTech sure could move up and down the field.  Of course, that's because they have good offenses, but apparently WVU's defenses are "bad" when they play Goergia, GTech, and Oklahoma and UM's opponents are all solid units when they beat the Wolverines.

But whatever.  Hoke is the coach and he's doing great.  I'm happy, and as long as UM keeps winning it sounds like you'll be happy.  But stop regurgitating trite arguments without any backing just because it makes you happy. 

micheal honcho

August 7th, 2012 at 2:23 PM ^

Simple. How many teams did Casteel shut out?? When a talented defensive coach with his own experienced players playing in his system come up against weak opponents. They shut them out or hold them to minimal scores in 3rd string junk time.

Now, if you really want to trot out the big east(without Miami & Va tech.)as an equivilent conference to the THEN big 10, big 12, SEC, Pac 10 or even ACC. You just go ahead and swim in that pool by yourself. There's nothing I can say to that.

Wins in single games against quality opponents on what 3 occasions? Does not balance the scale against playing your entire regular season conference schedule against middlings at best and downright patsies at worst. If any 6 game stretch in WVU's schedule had included Wisconsin, Ohio st., and Penn st. they would have never had the opportunity to win those games that you and others hang your hats on as indisputable proof of the dynamic duo's potential.

Dynamic offenses?? I'd love to see a Casteel's best 3-3-5 handle Bielema's freight train or even a Troy Smith led version of Tressel ball. Dynamic and effective are not exclusive. If they were the NFL would not be paying Harbaugh 7 million a year and not even taking a casual glance at RR. Same goes for Casteel. When the big boys start offering him DC positions you can trot him out as a potential game changer for the RR era at Michigan. Until then that dog just won't hunt.


August 7th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

When did I say that I was comparing the old Big East with the Big 10 from years past?  I openly admit that the Big East was a weaker conference than others, both during and after the time Miami and Va Tech were there.  But at the same time, there were offenses in that conference who could score, and WVU showed they could compete against the big boys from other conferences as well.  To dismiss the reality that RR's teams beat good teams from other conferences in BCS games, oftentimes with solid defensive efforts, makes me not want to swim in whatever pool you currently drift in. 

And don't try the strawman "If any 6 game stretch in WVU's schedule had included Wisconsin, Ohio st., and Penn st." argument while ignoring WVU having some tough stretches (like #3 Va Tech, then a good Rutgers team on the road, then #19 Louisville in 2005).  Sure, the Big East was not as good as the Big 10 top to bottom, but WVU had less resources than a typical Big 10 team, had a weaker recruiting base, etc.  RR and Casteel took the talent they had and won with it, and did so against good teams both in and out of the conference.

And please stop with the tired "the Big 10 is so tough" argument.  As we've seen recently given bowl and OOC performance, the Big 10 isn't an elite conference every year; heck, most years it is average.  So great, UM, MSU, OSU, and Wiscy look good on paper, but then they struggle to beat the TCUs, the USCs, heck even crappy Florida's of the world consistently.  People keep linking to UM over Tebow and Florida in 2007 - that was 5 freaking years ago!  How about getting housed by a crappy Miss St. team?  how about needing a couple of miracles to beat an average Va Tech team?  How about seemingly-invincible Wisconsin getting pushed around by TCU?  The sooner the myth of the Big 10 as an elite conference of great football teams that turn men into cowering puddles of goo under the eyes of Bo and House of Pain, the better.

"I'd love to see a Casteel's best 3-3-5 handle Bielema's freight train or even a Troy Smith led version of Tressel ball."  Oh, you mean like the 2006 UM defense that was worked over by Smith to the tune of 42 points?  Or do you mean the WVU defense that, after a rocky first quarter against Clemson, held the #24 offense in the land to 16 points, scored a fumble TD, forced two INTS,  while dropping 56 on them? 

A good offense can score on a good defense, and vice-versa.  It's called being good at football.  Wiscy has a very good offense, and yeah few teams had success slowing them down.  MSU had one of the best defenses in the country last year and let Wiscy score 31 and 42 points on them.  I still think MSU had an elite defense last year, one that could win a championship, but they still gave up buckets of yards.  What counter do you have to that? 


micheal honcho

August 7th, 2012 at 3:41 PM ^

So I assume we can agree that

#1. Harbaugh is a better coach than RR even though he never invented any dynamic offense and

#2. That Casteel is at best an unproven DC who has had some limited success at a lower level of CFB but is yet to demonstrate the ability to dominate against the creme of the crop on a consistent basis.

At least we have those to build on.


RECORD: 11-2
9-2-06 MARSHALL WON 42-10 Marshall Thundering Herd at West Virginia Mountaineers Football Tickets
9-14-06 MARYLAND (Thur.) WON 45-24 Maryland Terrapins at West Virginia Mountaineers Football Tickets
9-23-06 at East Carolina WON 27-10 West Virginia ECU Football Tickets
10-7-06 at Mississippi State WON 42-14 West Virginia Mountaineers at Mississippi State Bulldogs Football Tickets
10-14-06 SYRACUSE WON 41-17 Syracuse Orange at West Virginia Mountaineers Football Tickets
10-20-06 at Connecticut (Fri.) WON 37-11 West Virginia Mountaineers at Connecticut Huskies Football Tickets
11-2-06 at Louisville (Thur.) LOST 34-44 West Virginia Mountaineers at Louisville Cardinals Football Tickets
11-11-06 CINCINNATI WON 42-24 Cincinnati Bearcats at West Virginia Mountaineers Football Tickets
11-16-06 at Pittsburgh (Thur.) WON 45-27 West Virginia Mountaineers at Pittsburgh Panthers Football Tickets
11-25-06 SOUTH FLORIDA LOST 19-24 South Florida Bulls at West Virginia Mountaineers Football Tickets
12-2-06 RUTGERS WON 41-39 (3OT) Rutgers Scarlet Knights at West Virginia Mountaineers Football Tickets
GATOR BOWL @Jacksonville, FL



Now they did hold eastern nowhere to 3 points. Kudo's Casteel. Looks like you had a handle on them. Get ready for the Ravens to call you.

But......Losing to Lousiville & South Florida, taking 3 OT's to best the mighty scarlett knights?? Where was Casteel's defense that day??

RRs 2008 wolverine team with Sheridan/Threet at the helm would have gone 7-5 minimum against this schedule. Possibly better. Any major conference team would LOVE to play this schedule. Not just the Big10 but ANY of the real big boys. Great thing is, we'll just wait and see how that Casteel D handles the Pac12. Then perhaps we revisit this discussion. If the data shows me wrong at that time I'll admit it and eat that crow. My assertion is that as of now there simply is not a comprehensive enough data set to imply with any honest accuracy that Casteel would have had anything like a Mattison effect on RR's dismal defense.

Time will tell, have fun stopping Stanford and USC with those "bandits, spurs and sams" of your beloved 3-3-5. I'm betting your team will be in the bottom 3 of the conference in points allowed every year.(top 3 in points scored too, I give credit were due).


August 7th, 2012 at 4:23 PM ^

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 2, 2006 12:00 PM Vanderbilt* #14/15 Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI ESPN W 27–7   109,668
September 9, 2006 12:00 PM Central Michigan* #10/13 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ESPN+ W 41–17   108,712
September 16, 2006 3:30 PM at #2/3 Notre Dame* #11/13 Notre Dame StadiumNotre Dame, IN NBC W 47–21   80,795
September 23, 2006 12:00 PM Wisconsin #6/6 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ESPN W 27–13   110,058
September 30, 2006 8:00 PM Minnesota #6/6 Hubert H. Humphrey MetrodomeMinneapolis, MN ESPN W 28–14   50,805
October 7, 2006 4:30 PM Michigan State #6/6 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ESPN W 31–13   111,349
October 14, 2006 8:00 PM at Penn State #4/5 Beaver StadiumUniversity Park, PA ABC W 17–10   110,007
October 21, 2006 3:30 PM #NR/23 Iowa #2/3 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ABC W 20–6   110,923
October 28, 2006 12:00 PM Northwesterndagger #2/3 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ESPN W 17–3   109,114
November 4, 2006 12:00 PM Ball State* #2/2 Michigan Stadium • Ann Arbor, MI ESPNU W 34–26   109,359
November 11, 2006 3:30 PM at Indiana #2/2 Memorial StadiumBloomington, IN ESPN W 34–3   42,320
November 18, 2006 3:30 PM at #1/1 Ohio State #2/2 Ohio StadiumColumbus, OH ABC L 42–39   105,708
January 1, 2007 5:00 PM vs. #8/7 USC* #3/3 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC L 32–18   93,852

Just to highlight that good defenses can still be scored on, Ball State scored 26 on the 2006 team, and ND scored 21.  And as we saw toward the end, good offenses found a way to score pretty easily as well.

But regardless, I'm not saying Casteel was going to make this team elite, but he has a track receord of fielding good defenses.  Are they world beaters?  Probably not.  But if you want to presume that every "big boy" in a conference would feast on that schedule and win lots of games, I'm not going to disagree.  Maybe they'd even go 11-2. 

But regardless, RR and Casteel won a whole bunch of games at WVU, and did it by putting lots of points on the board while keeping most opponents well below.  They might struggle in the Pac 12, and maybe I'll be proven wrong.  Of course, name me the last successful coach at Arizona?  Yeah, it's kind of hard.  But regardless, teams like USC and Oregon will probably torch them, but I'm guessing that they'll find some success against the Oregon States and Washingtons of the world. 


August 7th, 2012 at 12:26 PM ^

Things wouldn't have been different if we hired Casteel.  Our program was severely damaged before Rodriguez ever coached a game here.  No coach makes a team whose secondary depth chart (for 4 positions) reads James Rogers (who has yet to see the field in 4 years), sophomore Jordan Kovacs, and a bunch of freshmen into a good defense. 

On the flip side, any idiot can come in and have immediate success at a job (SEE Weis, Charlie) if the groundwork has already been laid, even if the fans want give all the credit to the new coach and, say, give him a 10 year contract extension.

What good coaches can control and can do is build a team through recruiting and scouting.  Rodriguez did that at WVU.  When his first full recruiting class there reached its senior season and the rest of the team was stocked with his players, they finished in the top 10 three years in a row, went 33-5, and beat the SEC and Big 12 champions in BCS bowl games (not "Big Least" competition in either case). 

Brian Kelly did not do that at Cincinnati.  He inherited a program that Mark Dantonio was building and got credit for the foundation that had already been laid, then bailed before he had to do it himself.  On the other hand, he's been at ND two years.  Acting like we know much of anything about what he's building there on his own is silly.  All we know is that Charlie Weis was a mediocre scout/recruiter/program builder (something we knew after his 4th and 5th seasons at ND).

It's a shame that you can't see, despite all the whining people did about supposedly subpar recruiting, that Rich Rodriguez did a fantastic job here and rebuilt Michigan into a national power.  We didn't go 11-2 last year, win our first major bowl game in over a decade, and we aren't ranked in the top 10 this year because the guy spent 3 years driving our program into the ground.  He didn't get to taste the fruits of his labor, but we all did, and so we should probably just shut up and say thank you and wish the guy well at UA.


August 7th, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

I think this is a fair assessmant. Here at MGoBlog we've made mention of Carr's recruiting falling off near the end of his career. Not bad, but not on the whole great. We were making a slowish decline, and who knows where we would be if we had made the safe choices. We took a leap on a catalyst, saw things bottom out, then turned things around. RR may not have turned everything around, but he brought in talent, and laid the foundation. Hoke took that, and so far has run a marathon with it

Section 1

August 7th, 2012 at 12:12 PM ^

Did Troy read Three and Out?

I wish I had seen the 7/18 questions thread before now.  Questions I'd like to have asked:

  • Did you read Bacon's book?  What did you think?
  • What did you think of Bacon's access to the football program?
  • What was your reaction to the Free Press allegations in August of 2009?  How would you characterize your teammates' reaction to the allegations?  Was there discussion among the team as to who the reporters' sources were?
  • How much of a distraction was that situation, for you?  Did you get the notion that it was a huge headache and distraction for the coaches?
  • You knew Justin Boren when he was here; not only that, your dad was a teammate with Mike Boren.  What would you say about the circumstances of Justin's departure (which are discussed by Bacon in his book)?  Do you think that story has ever been properly told in the press?  What is the real story?  Did your dad have any contact with, or insight into, the Boren family drama?
  • If I asked you a big broad question like, "Do you think that in general, Coach Rodriguez got fair treatment while he was in Ann Arbor?", do you think that is a question you could answer?  What would the answer be?  If you'd like to rephrase that question, how would you rephrase it?



August 7th, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

That is the best way to sum up Rich's tenure.  Couldn't get himself out of it for some reason.


Rich handled Denard and Tate very well while here, but little else. 

Section 1

August 7th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

Not a single one of those questions "suggests" a particular answer to Troy.  They are all open-ended.  Troy could answer any way he chooses.

I could do a cross-examination, if I wanted; particularly with Rosenberg and Snyder.  It wouldn't look anything like that.


August 7th, 2012 at 2:03 PM ^

It's in the comments-


It was weird that I connected with Coach Hoke so soon. I felt like I've know him for four years. He just seemed cool, and he's just a good guy. That's the first quality I see looking at Coach is great character. I really believe he's a good person at heart and honestly cares about his athletes. I was able to read that early on, so he was all good with me after that, and we just got closer throughout the year."

That's what really matters to the future of Michigan Football. The rest is just people trying to prove they were right or weren't wrong.


August 7th, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

Woolfolk is the only one I can think of who actually played for all three of Carr, Rodriguez, and Hoke. Other 2011 fifth-year seniors redshirted under Carr but never saw the field while he was coach. Is there anyone else?

EDIT: Apparently Junior Hemingway saw some action in '07.