October 26th, 2011 at 11:31 AM ^

Half way through the book. It is hard for me to get my head around the lack of support for RR during the transition. When I hire I take a significant amount of time to inform, educate and "on-board" my new staff. If the book is correct RR had almost no help. I find this incredible.


October 26th, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

It all fits, doesn't it? Bill Martin was utterly clueless when it came to personnel. Time after time in the book, it's abundantly clear that he has no feel for what makes people tick, how to anticipate or respond to their needs, etc.

It sounds like he could have used a steady diet of Oprah and the WE channel for about a year before accepting the AD job.


October 26th, 2011 at 10:00 PM ^

give you $36 if you take him back.  He's an absolute turdbasket.  Trust me, he makes Sean Baligian almost listenable, who judged by his own merits should be mercifully drowned like a sack of kittens.  


October 26th, 2011 at 12:09 PM ^

But that being said I listened to a lot of the Bacon interview yesterday on the way home and it was good ... mostly because Bacon was talking a lot, and "Huge" (read: dipshit) hardly said anything.

In the interview, Bacon mostly re-hashes everything he's already said in the stuff Brian posted.  But it was cool to hear him actually say it.  Sounds like a very smart, unassuming guy who has his shit together; knows the difference between what he knows and what he thinks he knows.  He sounds very credible and I'll probably believe everything I read when my copy finally gets delivered. 

Hopefully this book puts some pressure on Carr/Martin/etc to speak up and explain themselves -- but they probably won't.


October 26th, 2011 at 12:23 PM ^

As someone who has had a class with Bacon he certainly is both very smart and unassuming. He is also hilarious, and clearly cares about teaching. The last day of lecture he went around and knew every single person's first name - probably about 200 people (and he taught multiple classes). He is a really interesting and cool guy. One thing I hope Michigan does not do is keep him away from teaching, it would be a huge loss for the students.


October 26th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

I had a professor that knew everyone's names too.  Surprisingly, it was on the first day of the class.  Turns out, you can print the class roster and attach the M-card photos of the students enrolled.  He made flash cards and memorized students' names for the first day.

It was kind of creepy and impressive at the same time.

Bando Calrissian

October 26th, 2011 at 9:15 PM ^

First time I met Professor Talley, he stopped me from introducing myself, looked at me for a second, and proceeded to recite my name, hometown, what instrument I played...  And this was like day 1 of Band Week.  Unnerving indeed for a freshman.  If you went into Revelli in the summer, it was inevitable you'd run into a staff member with a packet of faces and names.


October 26th, 2011 at 1:26 PM ^

How could Michigan make an offer to Jim Harbaugh that would make him anything less than the highest paid coach in college football?

If it's indeed true that Harbaugh was given a half-assed offer that they knew he'd refuse, the politics and egos at Michigan are even more out of control than I thought.

Reading the tea leaves, it sounds more and more like Brandon himself was a clan member and fit neatly into the "Lloyd Loyalist" category. That's extremely disheartening.

El Jeffe

October 26th, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

Holy fucking shit. I did not know the anecdote Bacon talks about at about 19:30, where he says that an "AD staffer" told the seniors during the senior exit interviews that RR was gone, and that this happened PRIOR TO the Gator Bowl.

That certainly wouldn't account for the entire MSU (NTMSU) ass kicking, but I wouldn't be surprised if when things started going sour it sucked the heart out of the team and things just snowballed.

Just unbelievable.


October 26th, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

The company line of our esteemed athletic director back then was that he was actually doing the players a FAVOR by not making a move until after the bowl and indicated at the firing presser than Michigan was above having an interim coach. He put everybody through five more weeks of hell and I have no idea why.

Does anyone out there actually still like DB after hearing this stuff? Seriously, I need to know this.

Martin appeared to be a man with a very narrow skill-set (dollars and cents genius, PR buffoon). Brandon, on the other hand, seems like he's nothing short of treacherous. Just a bad guy.



El Jeffe

October 26th, 2011 at 2:18 PM ^

I'm not sure what he is. I remember during the coaching change boardapalooza there was rampant speculation about what Brandon was thinking, leading Brian and others (yrs. truly included) to conclude that the process was a colossal clusterfuck. Now I think that is not true, at least in the sense that the process was decidedly not bungled. I now think it unfolded exactly the way Brandon wanted.

Here is what we know (if Bacon is right, which I will assume for the sake of argument):

  • Miles was not a candidate ("over my dead body")
  • Harbaugh was low-balled
  • RR was fired before the Gator Bowl only no one knew it
  • DB claimed he was going to do a "national search" after the Gator Bowl, which everyone thought was either a lie or so ludicrously irresponsible that the only plausible explanation was that it was a lie

So what was the point of the 5-week charade between OSU and MSU (NTMSU)? My guess is that DB was set on Hoke but didn't want him to suffer the PR ignominy of "quitting on his team" as was true of RR when he left WVU, and a number of other coaches, for that matter (Dantonio leaving Cincinnati for MSU (YTMSU), Kelly leaving Cincinnati for ND (poor Cincinnati, eh?).

By itself that isn't so devious. My concern is that he (through his "AD staffer") leaked TO THE PLAYERS that RR was gone. One way to read that choice was that he wanted to sap the players' will so they wouldn't "fight to save RR's job" in the Gator Bowl, which would have then been a headache for DB, who would be firing an 8-5 coach who just won a New Year's Day Bowl. So, he sabotaged his own football team's chances by leaking the firing of RR, and by using a stooge at that, and to the seniors, the players least loyal to RR and most loyal to Lloyd.

This is obviously a very unflattering interpretation of DB's actions. But what else fits? Why else would he have leaked the info to the players and then made a big deal about a "national search," only to wind up with a guy who would never have made it to the top of a true national search, for all of Hoke's obvious qualities that we can see now.

Blue Durham

October 26th, 2011 at 3:04 PM ^

So, he sabotaged his own football team's chances by leaking the firing of RR, and by using a stooge at that, and to the seniors, the players least loyal to RR and most loyal to Lloyd.

This is obviously a very unflattering interpretation of DB's actions. But what else fits?

Recall that Brandon would not meet with Denard during this time period, who obviously would have heard about RR's impending firing. Under these circumstances, I don't think any good can come out of such a meeting for Brandon.

I have also thought that Brandon's process was set up for a Hoke hire after the transparent low-ball offer to Harbaugh. Now it seems that this might have been the case directly after the OSU game.

True Blue Grit

October 26th, 2011 at 6:18 PM ^

I have not heard or seen anything that clearly indicates he screwed anything up.  If nothing else, at least Brandon appears to have had AN ACTUAL PLAN - unlike Martin.  Brandon's history is that he's very thorough and does his homework.  I'm assuming he did a lot of research before approaching coaching candidates.  But, being a marketing guy, he also understands PR.  So, he was careful to not turn the post-RR search into any more of a media circus than possible.  Yes, it's entirely plausible that he did his research and decided that Hoke was THE guy from the beginning.  And I can't disagree given:

1.  Miles is a wack job who has been corrupted permanently by being in the SEC.

2.  Harbaugh may be a brilliant coach, but is unstable and volatile and would probably end up in the NFL in a few years anyway.

3.  Whether anyone on this board wants to admit it or not, the damage done to Michigan's reputation from all the losing, lowered talent levels,  and infighting over the last 3 years made the job not appealing to top tier candidates. 

Either way, I think we're a lot better off now under Brandon than his predecessor.


October 26th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

If you read the book Brandon comes across as neutral and actually a plus on one occasion for Rodriguez due to his PR skills and his defense of Rodriguez during the CARA form incident.

Bacon doesn't go into much detail about Brandon probably because up until the very end Brandon didn't tip his hand one way or another and there probably wasn't any good sources willing to speak.

Martin however comes across as a bozo when it comes to interaction with the media and power brokers which is to be expected.



October 26th, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

The better question is why would you believe the assertion that players were told RR was gone prior to the bowl game?  In the world of twitter it would have been impossible to keep every single player silent. 

I know many of you vouch for Bacon and because of that I believe he is truly a great guy and excellent professor, but there are serious reasons to question many of the stories/anecdotes/facts in the book. It's a great read so long as you don't take it as fact. 


October 27th, 2011 at 12:49 AM ^

Everything I have seen in the book or heard from Bacon only confirms what I have thought of Brandon, first when the ads appeared on the boards at the Big Chill, and then when Brandon gave RR no support as the season went on.  This interview also confirms my "tinfoil hat" thoughts about LC.  Actually, LC was more of a prick to RR than even I thought he was.     

I'm glad this is all being brought into the open.  I only wish people like Carr and Brandon were held even half as accountable for their actions as RR was.  

The end result is that Brady Hoke has to succeed now, because no eilte coach from "outside" with any other good options is going to take the job and risk being treated like RR was.  

The main lesson to be learned here is that everybody who calls themselves a Michigan fan, whether or not they agree with playcalling, schemes, direction, or politics, must support the current head coach if Michigan is ever going to become a truly elite program again.  

That means no bitching about the coaches at a few more losses, no whining, and no second-guessing.  It also means that Brady Hoke can't be fully judged until he has had five years to turn his vision for the program into reality.  

The Barwis Effect

October 27th, 2011 at 7:00 AM ^

"no eilte coach from "outside" with any other good options is going to take the job and risk being treated like RR was."
<br>Truly elite coaches are a lot like elite athletes. They have huge egos and they think they're invincible. As long as you pay them enough, they're not going to be deterred by any obstacles that the previous coach was unable to overcome because, in their mind, they're better than the previous coach.


October 26th, 2011 at 2:26 PM ^

My realization thus far from reading Three and Out:  It's impossible for a human being to work hand in hand with a another human being for a three year period without developing a fondness for that person.   That is why, in my opinion, this book should not be viewed as an objective look into the 3 year Rodriguez tenure at Michigan. 

El Jeffe

October 26th, 2011 at 4:25 PM ^

I'm not sure you understand what "hand in hand" means. It's pretty clear that JUB wasn't RR's non-ghost ghost writer in the way that he was for Bo's Lasting Lessons. Nothing is truly objective, but all we've heard from the principals in it is silence, suggesting it's probably not far off the mark.


October 26th, 2011 at 4:47 PM ^

I'm not sure I'd use the silence of guys like Lloyd Carr as the basis for believing a story is or is not accurate.  Lloyd is one of the most private, reserved men on the face of the planet - he wouldn't respond publicly if someone questioned threw out a rumor that his name wasn't actually Lloyd Carr.  Gentlemen stay above the fray.  I think we're very fortunate, as alums and/or fans, that all of the people "implicated" in this book have chosen just to ride it out for the betterment of the program. 


October 26th, 2011 at 8:29 PM ^

There is nothing about it that is going away quietly, you flaming moron. The book is rocketing up the amazon sales charts and is already sold out of several Ann Arbor book retailers.

Furthermore, you make it out like mgoblog is the lunatic fringe when in fact, most of the program's most avid, thorough fans congregate here. Discussions exclusive to MGoBlog (which this book is obviously is not) are more likely to have merit, not less.


October 26th, 2011 at 11:11 PM ^

Tell me without looking it up what the #1 book on collegiate football was the week before Bacon's book came out?  Exactly. 

This blog is not the lunatic fringe, although the lunatic fringe certainly hangs out here along with a whole bunch of rational thinkers.  The fact of the matter is that the headlines regarding Michigan football right now are about what is occuring on the field and it behooves the program to keep it that way.  Are the local fishwraps writing about the book - yes - but is it the "main story"?  Not even close. 

Is it neccessary for you to be so vulgar and crude everytime you respond to someone who simply disagrees with you?