February 4th, 2011 at 11:24 AM ^

and I generally don't read that site, so I'll comment here.

1) How is our recruiting class "phenominal"? We lost the highest rated kids (Hart, Frost, Crawford...) and replaced them with lower tier B10 switchers (no need to call them out, and I love them just the same!).

2) Brandon did hold up the process, that's for certain. I understand Harbaugh was Plan A, and changed his mind, but why fly to Louisana and have this Les Miles BS? Why not immediately hire Hoke? Why say that he was hiring a national search firm and didn't necessairly want a "Michigan Man"?

3) As an aside, why does Brandon get absolute faith from anybody? He was the CEO of an average to bad (maybe 3rd in market share of the Big 3 National Pizza Chains) pizza company? He had no athletic department or school administrative experience, other than being a rich dude who hung out with UM bigwigs.

4) I think RR knew he was toast after the OSU game, that's why the akward Josh Grobin incident arose.

5) He's making the arguement that Brandon knows this and that because he played for Bo. I'm sick of that crap.


February 4th, 2011 at 12:51 PM ^

1.) It really wasn't a phenominal recuriting class by anymeans.  However given the situation that Hoke had to work with once he got here, what he did with the recuriting class can certainly be argued as phenominal.


2.) To do proper dillgence?  As he said this isn't some quick decision... the impact of his hire is obviously huge and will be huge for years and years to come.   So he interviewed people, one of them was likely Les Miles.   Now what if, and I know this always seems so foreign to this board.  But what if he interviewed both candidates (and he claimed he interviewed more too) and Hoke was simply who he thought was better for the job?


3.) I don't think he gets Absolute Faith at all.   There is a difference between trust, giving one the benefit of the doubt, and "Absoulte faith."   Just because one doesn't agree with your opinion of Dave Brandon doesn't mean they have absolute faith in him.  (Not saying you feel that way either.)


4.)  Just think of RR was fired after the OSU game and Michigan waxed MSU in the bowl.   I don't think that the decision came down to the bowl game, but I think it certainly had the possibility of him saviing his job.


5.) That one I completely agree with.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:27 AM ^

how ready you are to move on with UM football.  For most of us, there is no choice. 

I am not going to change allegance, but continue to have open and festering wounds and a high level of disgust about the ugliness unleashed in the media and fanbase from the RR era. 

I need time to accept the new staff/direction and will give the benifit of the doubt, but I can not kill the idea in me that thinks RR was exactly right about this team's future. I need to see it on the field.

I do not want Hoke to become the light beer version of LLoyd Carr.



February 4th, 2011 at 11:29 AM ^

That was my first time visiting that site, and it will be my last.  My biggest problem was when he slighted the need for diversity on the coaching staff.  Come on man, that is the most common of common sense, especially in what is probably the most diverse city in MI.  That was just complete ignorance


February 4th, 2011 at 3:28 PM ^

But I think it might help. I don't think anybody's against diversity. But in some weird way, forcing diversity isn't diversity. And people who make one factor "the" defining requirement are not doing much for the spirit of diversity. Diversity is appreciating the differences in each other and seeing value in them. The only way diversity is being impeded is if a certain factor is being wrongfully discriminated against, not if there isn't a high enough occurrence of that factor. That's just circumstance, and there are a lot of other factors being considered in this than that one. I think that's why people don't like the diversity criticism.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:30 AM ^

I pretty much feel like this is a fight that I gotta roll wit my boy.  I don't know Brian personally, but I feel what he's talking about 85% of the time. You my boy blue!


February 4th, 2011 at 11:31 AM ^

I'm sick of this argument.  DB did what he said he was going to do all along, flawed as his process may be.  Brady Hoke solidified the recruiting class quickly, and did it better than expected for the time he had to work with.  So, yes, I do think DB's "process" was flawed, but it worked out pretty well in the end.  Can we just start looking forward to the spring game now???!!!


February 4th, 2011 at 11:46 AM ^

Other than stealing recruits from Minny, Indiana and Vandy...I mean, just think about those programs for a second...Minnesota, Indiana and Vandy. I think there is casue for concern with this. 

I know Hoke had very limited time, but I take issue with the claim that Hoke did a great job. I wouldn't have an issue with someone saying that Hoke should get a wash with this BECAUSE of Brandon and his damned Process, but this is a poor class by M standards.


February 4th, 2011 at 12:08 PM ^

After the previous three years. It's not like we've been going head to head against Ohio State, USC, and Texas and winning many battles. (We've gotten practically no one Ohio State has wanted from Ohio). And have been losing ground recruiting against Penn State, MSU and those level teams. I don't really see the difference between snake-oiling someone from Purdue, or snake-oiling someone from...Purdue. Neither is good. But if it continues next year, like it has for the last four, then there's reason to worry.


February 4th, 2011 at 1:24 PM ^

Please do, since none of those were definites anyway.

Frost wanted to go to Auburn while his parents wanted him to go to Michigan.  Dee left Michigan before Rodriguez was fired.  He was never locked up and wanted to go where HaHa was going.  Zettel was locked up?  Got some proof for that one?  Fisher was locked up.


February 4th, 2011 at 2:37 PM ^

In addition to the names mentioned above, who despite your feelings all were either committed to UM or rumored to be silent (save for Zettel)

Crawford went to Miami...

Lucien went to UCLA...

Furthermore, there are other names that The Process affected, such as Avery Walls.

And we replace these kids who are going to Auburn, Bama, Penn State, and Miami, with kids that would have been going to Minnesota, Indiana, and Vanderbilt. BUT OUR CLASS RULEZZ OMG HOKEAMANIA!!!!!

2 of the commits Hoke did procure, Taylor & Rawls (and to a lesser extent Bryant & Poole), were likely to come to UM regardless of who the coach was.

I'm not saying Hoke did a bad job, he didn't. But to insist that the class would not have been better is DUMB. yes, dumb.


February 4th, 2011 at 12:44 PM ^

Is the class poor by typical Michigan recruiting standards?  Sure.  Is it poor considering we changed coaches less than 4 weeks before signing day?  I don't think so.  I was watching Rivals recruiting rankings during the whole process, and before Hoke started bringing in recruits, we were ranked 41st in the country and either 6th or 7th in the Big Ten(I can't remember which).  Now that the class is finalized, Rivals has us rated 21st in the country and 3rd in the Big Ten, behind only tOSU and Nebraska.  I'd say that was a pretty strong finish. 


February 4th, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

It is weak for UM standards because of The Process - not because of Hoke or Rodriguez - it's because of Brandon.  This is not a logical stretch at all. Retain Rodriguez = stronger class. Fire Rodriguez sooner since you KNOW Hoke is available = stronger class.



February 4th, 2011 at 11:35 AM ^

I think it's a little early to 'omg Hoke is a snake-oilin' mofo'

This class is not even ranked by ESPN in the top 25, as compared to 2008 in which they M was 13th, 10th in 2009 and 14th last season (yes, admitting certain people did not make it to campus), but this isn't an amazing class by any stretch. 

This class is worse off now than it would have been, but whateves


February 4th, 2011 at 11:41 AM ^

In general, I am a fan of Brian's analysis.  I enjoy his candor, humor and cynical eye.  My take on the Maize and Brew article is that they are sick of the "What if" argument.  Brian, and others (including myself) have been posing a lot of "what if" questions about our program i.e. what would have happened if RR had stayed?  What if Hoke was hired a month sooner? What if this or that recruit hadn't decomitted/comitted to the program.


The fact of the matter is, we will never know.  We have the coach we have, we got him when we got him, the recruits that signed with us this week are the recruiting class of 2011 and that, for the most part, is not going to change.


Part of intelligent discourse is open debate which is another thing I like about this website, but to continually raise questions that perhaps undermine what the program is doing is perhaps a bit counterintuitive considering how and why we got to this point.


I am all for criticizing the product if the results aren't there.  If Michigan lays a big egg against our closest rivals again and is a non-factor in the conference, I say let the shit hit the fan.  Until then however, I think giving the current organization room to cut a path for itself is the best move for those who follow the program as closely as the people in this forum so charismatically do.

Here's to a great year, Go Blue!


February 4th, 2011 at 11:52 AM ^

We all love Brian, but what's wrong with there being a differing opinion on this?  

I am of the opinion that no matter the process, it doesn't matter as long as as we get the right guy.  I have a gut feeling we did.  Guy LOVES Michigan.  Knows the midwest.  Is adored by HS coaches in Ohio (I know, because I am one), even those who are diehard Buckeye guys,  which will lead to recruiting success.  And has a sense of what a "program" philosophy needs to be in order to gain long-term success.  

Good hire.  Forget the process.


February 4th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

I don't think people are saying there's anything wrong with a different opinion.  I just don't think that this is a particularly well-reasoned one.  I read most of the Maize n Brew post, but I should have stopped reading after this paragraph:


And even more puzzling, how you can blame Dave Brandon for a coaching search that netted a good hire and a good recruiting class. If you do this you fall into two categories:

1) I believe Rodriguez was fired after the Ohio State game and Brandon needlessly held up the process by going sailing with Bill Martin or something like that; or,

2) I can't believe we hired Hoke when we could've had Harbaugh, Miles, or some other hot coordinator as our new head coach.

Huh, really? None of this makes any sense. These are the only two options?  Even this small paragraph is bursting with unwarranted assumptions.  It's just kind of batty.  The piece purports to be this rigorous defense of Dave Brandon and "The Process" but it's just not.   


February 4th, 2011 at 11:57 AM ^

Just longer. And with some admitted overhype of the recruiting class. It could be said to be a great recovery in a horrible situation, but not objectively great. The #21 recruiting class next year will get no one excited.

Though part of that is a lot of wishful thinking on what the class was headed to actually be too. Fisher is most likely in the fold, and maybe Crawford. But Frost has flat out said he wanted to go to Auburn, his parents wanted him to go to Michigan; Zettel didn't even wait to see if Rich would bs around before he committed to PSU, and never wavered; and Hart has been flip-flopping for months, causing meltdowns. We'll never know who was coming, and how much was Rich leaving, and how much was all the losing, which would have left Rich on the hot seat if he had stayed. We were middle of the Big Ten, low 20s - mid-30s when Rich was still recruiting. It seemed like a reach to say all this talent was coming for sure, and we were headed to a top ten recruiting class. It would have been a few slots better, but it would have been our fourth straight below standards class in any regard. Next Year's recruiting will be the sign of program direction.


February 4th, 2011 at 11:58 AM ^

Good for Maize and Brew. MGOBLOG is good, but it's refreshing to hear someone else with another opinion. Also, just because someone interprets something differently doesn't make them uninformed.

los barcos

February 4th, 2011 at 12:02 PM ^

who call out "the process" and say that we would be fine if we just cleaned out our defensive staff, how do you know that option wasnt on the table?  db could have told rich to fire everyone on that side of the ball, while rich for whatever reason (because of loyality or being fed up with michigan, or something) decided not to do that. 

people look at a two-day meeting and draw their own conclusions about how rich was fired, when in reality we don't know the circumstances, what was discussed, and what, if any, ultimatums existed.  


February 4th, 2011 at 12:13 PM ^

I've heard the ultimatum theory before.  You are right, no one knows what options RR was presented with, but I don't think there was a lot of doubt whether or not he was going.  To think that he was offered an option to can his whole defensive staff and bring in a DC guru I think is highly unlikely.  If was was an option, I really don't see why RR wouldn't subscribe to that.  In his interviews he has been very candid about his disappointment in not being able to finish the job.  If DB would have said, "Fire GERG and live to coach another day," I feel like he probably would have gone with it.

los barcos

February 4th, 2011 at 12:20 PM ^

GERG, theoretically, would not have been the only one fired. so would gibson and dews, who both have been with rich for a long time.  

anyways, thats ancillary to my point im trying to make.  the thing is, people who complain about the process do so by saying that "if only we had a new defensive staff..." what they fail to realize is that could have been a viable option that was turned down.  no one knows.  but to bitch and moan about something that may or may not have happened seems, at this point, completely unnecessary.  


February 4th, 2011 at 12:19 PM ^

There is so much we don't know. It almost seems like the frustration of Brandon being correct that others had only 5% of his total information, has spilled over into speculation without basis.  This is especially apparent among people who were dogmatically pro-Rich.

People who choose to take Brandon totally at face value that Rich still was in the running through the Gator Bowl, might be totally right.  If that was the case, there is really no griping that can be done about any process defects.  We had a coach that coached himself out of town via on field performance while given everything he was publicly promised to make his case.  What's the big deal?


February 4th, 2011 at 12:17 PM ^

And to be honest, I agree more with his points than with Brian's. I'm not one for bashing someone on their site, or even bashing at all, but there are a lot of positives now:

A coaching staff with a healthy balance in philosophy- defense first (big sigh of relief), molding strategies to talent rather than talent to strategies (Borges-Denard, we'll see how much)

A great, proven, and respected DC

A quality recruiting class that matches our vast deficiencies (notice the quick change in recruiting directions when Hoke came on board)

No disrespect to RR or anyone else, and of course, we'll see what happens. But I'm breathing a lot easier than I was before the change. And I'm a lot more optimistic. At this point, I'm not going to bash the process or the results.


February 4th, 2011 at 12:21 PM ^

I have to say that I agree with most of what Dave is saying ("great" is a little strong for the recruiting class, but I think people here are under-selling it).  The most critical point there is that Brandon may well have kept RichRod if we played well in that bowl game.  It seems like a lot of people here don't credit that as a possibility, but I tend to believe it.  That debacle would have been too hard of a sell, even with defensive changes, when the offense wasn't performing either.

El Jeffe

February 4th, 2011 at 3:32 PM ^

I'm replying to you because I've been picking on Nate Volk too much lately, though he made much the same point.

The problem with The Process was not that he might have kept RR if M hadn't laid such an egg in the Gator Bowl, and so DB wouldn't have been able to sell his retention to the alumni or whatever. On that, I think you're probably right. The problem was that he didn't appear to have a contingency plan in place for that possibility. So when he fired RR after the Gator Bowl and then announced a "national search," there were only two conclusions:

  • That's bullshit. You've got someone in the fold already and this whole thing has been a dog and pony show; or

I think reasonable people who disagree about other matters can agree that neither option makes DB look particularly competent.

Finally, to the extent that The Process can be linked to The Results of the Process, I think it's fair to say that if you were told in advance of The Process that the Results of the Process would be that we would get a sub-.500 coach who has had two good years at minor conferences, and would lose most of our top-ranked recruits, you would think The Process was a fucking disaster.

Now, the sub-.500 coach we happened to get is a helluva good guy by all accounts, and he hit the equivalent of a 9th innning grand slam in the 7th game of the World Series by landing Mattison. But I personally can hold two sets of thoughts simultaneously in my head, and I don't think they are contradictory:

  1. I am optimistic about Hoke/Mattison, and I love this Michigan team and I will root my balls off for them; and
  2. The Process was a total clusterfuck.


February 4th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

have a contingency plan. We've heard rumors for a long time that DB liked Hoke. And after everything Hoke has done, including bring in Mattison, who wouldn't?

It doesn't have to be: either Hoke was the guy all along and we were viciously lied to, or DB had no clue. Perhaps he had a good idea he had Hoke, a guy he was confident in, in the bag, and then he went out, with that confidence, looking for other options when the search came. Sounds like a pretty good situation to me. And honest.

Remember how there was supposedly a meeting with Hoke right when the search began? And then after DB flew around talking to other guys?

Sounds like the formal interview took place, DB did his search, and he went away with the best available option, one he was previously very confident in. Just because I wasn't confident in Hoke when I'd only seen cursory stats and heard Brian's opinion, doesn't mean he isn't amazing. And he's made a lot of pretty sweet moves since he came to town. In fact, I like everything he's said and done.

I'm not so down on the process now either.


February 4th, 2011 at 12:24 PM ^

I can only deal with discussion so many times...

No one can say that the DB process was good.  Sorry.  There is no argument.

No one can argue that our class would have been better if a coach had been in place in early December instead of middle of January.

Also, no one can argue that Hoke pulled off a minor miracle by securing the class that he did.


All of those are true.  


February 4th, 2011 at 12:47 PM ^

This class was decent despite DB's actions. I would like to hear more about the 5 recruits that we definitely would have gotten otherwise though, because it sounds like Brian just threw that figure out there like his "Brady Hoke is not an option" statement.

oriental andrew

February 4th, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^


And for reference, the alt-text:

Fun fact: if you say this every time a professor does something to a complex-number equation that drops the imaginary part, they'll eventually move the class to another room and tell everyone else except you.


February 4th, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^

This quote from that article is SPOT-ON, and really summed up why RR should have been canned.....

"21 points scored in Michigan's last two games while surrendering 89. 0-6 against Michigan's biggest rivals in games that were less competitive each year Michigan played them"

MI Expat NY

February 4th, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

I hate that 0-6 stat for two reasons.  1) I hate that we haven't beaten MSU or OSU in at least three years.  2) Where's Notre Dame?!?! I, and I know many others, consider ND to be the second biggest rival.  ND at least has to be considered an equal rival.  But I guess 2-7 doesn't sound as bad as 0-6.