Jim McElwain to Michigan as OC/WR Coach

Submitted by DJMich23 on February 14th, 2018 at 9:16 PM
Per Sam Webb via Twitter. Still some ambiguity on his specific duties as the 10th assistant. Edit: Offensive Coordinator/Wr Coach (Per UMbig11.)


Hail Harbo

February 15th, 2018 at 5:04 AM ^

McElwain may have lain with sharks, but he's now our Shark Humper and after Don Brown, may have been Harbaugh's best hire.  The only way Harbaugh could screw this up is if he doesn't let the Shark Humper have unfettered control of the offense.

Time to stop playing games with the offense and start winning The Games with the offense.

M Ascending

February 15th, 2018 at 7:44 AM ^

Wait a minute.  Wasn't FLA's offense horrible the last few years of McElwain's reign? Didn't they rely on defense to win games?  So, why are we hiring him on the offensive side of the ball?  And, doesn't hiring a former SEC championship caliber head coach as a position coach cause confusion as to who's going to be in charge on the O side?  I'm not sure I undersand this.


Watching From Afar

February 15th, 2018 at 9:27 AM ^

Per reports:

McElwain has WRs and is the OC.

Drevno is the AHC and OL coach

Warriner is an offensive analyst but will be with the OL mostly

Pep has QBs

McElwain's offenses @ Florida weren't good, so I'm hesitant about the hire, but those offenses weren't all his fault. He didn't call plays and made some bad OC hires (Nuss) but when Grier was there they were actually doing pretty well (until he got suspended for PEDs).

Mr Miggle

February 15th, 2018 at 12:49 PM ^

That's a bonus. They tend not to be lead recruiters for a lot of prospects. Statistics about who on the staff brings in recruit x and y can be very misleading since it's a joint effort.

You need great recruiters on your staff, but you also need some top flight coaches, especially at DC and OC. Nobody has a staff where everyone is great at both. 


February 15th, 2018 at 7:25 PM ^

Speight finished last year poorly and started this season poorly. And Black was a true freshmen who probably was our best WR but we don't even know that much yet. He wasn't going to set the world on fire last year regardless. This offense was among last (maybe dead last?) in the nation in red zone offense with both these dudes healthy. And that was after playing terrible teams in Florida, Cincy, and Air Force. None of which went bowling. You imply how good the offense was with these guys healthy last year which simply isn't true. I'm not saying Harbaugh doesn't know what he is doing, and actually no one else brought that up except you. But you are painting a picture that isn't accurate. 


February 14th, 2018 at 11:46 PM ^

Because those were our offensive ranks in 2015 and 2016 in S&P+.  Our defense carried those teams.  We've had mediocre to awful offenses under Harbaugh.

Is it too much to ask to at least be as good as juggernauts like Louisiana State, Toledo and others that have been far better than M in that time?

The Fan in Fargo

February 15th, 2018 at 12:11 AM ^

Mediocre to awful offenses or incapable subjects to run said offenses? Let us not forget who the players were that played within those offenses who had their skulls beat in the years prior under Hoke. Those kids improved tons but they still had a lot of catching up to do. The cuboard was emptied this past year. 


February 15th, 2018 at 1:56 AM ^

you need an update on your stats.  Offensive points per game doesn't mean much because it's not pace nor opponent adjusted. S&P+ is. Toledo and La Tech and a bunch of other scrubs have been better than us after adjusting for opponent strength.

How about we try to be good at offense instead of loseing to a bad Iowa team 14-13 or scoring a net 3 offensive points on OSU so we don't have a #1 defense and still get lucky to win a title.

We've been bad at offense the past three years. Objectively.  Any way you look at it.  Why would we be satisfied with that?


February 15th, 2018 at 2:46 PM ^

We were 50th in offensive points per game in 1997... and the game has changed a lot since then, and it's harder to win with just a good defense.


In the last 10 years the worst S&P+ Offense to win a national title was #24 - and that was paired with a #1 S&P+ Defense.


Realistically - you pretty much need a top 20 S&P+ Offense and Defense to win championships.


February 15th, 2018 at 5:12 AM ^

Problem is, Michigan runs a conservative, clock control offense. It wont ever regularly put up the numbers required to statistically stack up with some of the high powered spread offenses.

Teams like Oklahoma have these great statistical offenses. They also don’t give a rats ass about defense. They’re just going to try and outscore you. Michigan is completely different. There’s really no need to take those extra chances and risks when you have an elite defense. Being conservative affects your offensive stats.

What you look for in an offense like Michigan, is efficiency. That’s what will determine whether the offense is good or not. How does the team do on 3rd down? How many turnovers? What are the red zone numbers? Team yards per carry? Team completion %?


February 15th, 2018 at 9:56 AM ^

It's fine to be efficient and not flashy. And again, opponents the first two years were saying we were very hard to plan for. An offense that works doesn't have to be some lightnin' boy scoring machine. Sometimes it can be an efficient, ball control machine, and that's fine if your team is set up for that. 


February 15th, 2018 at 6:03 PM ^

but explosiveness isn't what dragged down their S+P+ and they were absolutely not extremely efficient in 2015 or 2016.

They were actually quite explosive in 2015 (22nd overall) and better-than-average in 2016 at 46th. Your assumption about the impact of explosiveness on the formula or that they weren't explosive is wrong.

And their raw drive efficiencies in FEI were an ok-but-not-great 27th and 31st in FEI respectively.  That's not extremely efficient.

The descrepancy between the metrics is in how garbage drives are taken out and how opponent adjustments are made:

S+P+ takes out garbage time based on leads at any given point of the game, i.e. "when a game is not within 28 points in the first quarter, 24 points in the second quarter, 21 in the third, and 16 in the fourth."

FEI takes out only end of game garbage time.  So FEI credits us for a bunch of meaningless Hawaii, Rutgers, etc. drives in 2016 that S+P+ does not.

FEI was a system designed for the NFL and its simplicity works fine there because there's a lot more parity and a lot more close games.  If one NFL team is slaughtering another NFL team early in a game, that says more about the relative qualities of the teams going forward.  In college football, it means less for your future prospects that you can and are willing to stomp on Rutgers by 77.

That's why S&P+ is more widely used for college analysis.  It's a better metric for the college game and is superior in its predictive ability.

If you watched the 2016 Iowa, OSU and FSU games and saw a top 15 offense, than I guess we'll just agree to disagree.

As for Harbaugh's final two Stanford teams, yes, they were great.  Andrew Luck was a generational talent.  Harbaugh hasn't had a great offense in the NFL or college since then.  You can't overvalue Harbaugh's impact on that Stanford team and discount Luck's impact in the face of mounting evidence about who was driving that success.

Also, that was 10 years.  The pace of change in college sports is rapid.  Offenses innovate/change to exploit inefficiencies, defenses catch up, rinse and repeat.  Harbaugh knows this, and he wants to be running a bit more modern offense.  He's studying new things.  He's smart enough not to keep a static "system" just like Beilein was smart enough not to keep doing the same things as basketball changed drastically.

I loved the gameplan against OSU.  The coaches set up the team for success there (for really the first time that season).  Massive regression with a terrible gameplan against SC, but we'll see what they do.  I am optimistic.  But it's more that I'm optimistic that they learned from past failures adn will adapt, not that their former system was stellar and just need the "right" players.


February 15th, 2018 at 12:57 PM ^

for Michigan football, than your definition of fine is much different than mine as it relates to this program.

Also, no one would think 38th and 40th were fine if our defenses weren't elite those years.  I don't understand why we'd assume having an elite defense is a given but be happy with meh offenses.