Was Bo Wrong or Right?

Submitted by MWolverine7 on October 18th, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Pulled from Bo's Lasting Lessons:

Bo Schembechler

John U. Bacon


"I remember one time we were scouting a high school player here in Michigan, but I couldn't take my eyes off of his head coach.  The guy was just standing there on the sidelines , his arms folded, with no clipboard, no headset.  Nothing! And he'd always stand twenty yards away from everyone else. If their opponents had the ball down by his 10-yard line -which seemed to happen a lot-he'd be standing out by the 50. His poor assistants-and why they worked for this guy is a mystery to me-had to keep running back and forth to him just to let him know what they were doing.

I couldn't believe it! Honestly, what the hell is that? Why are they paying that guy? Why does he even show up for the games?  Needless to say, his team was awful-undisciplined, unfocused, uninspired.  But what would you expect,with no leader?"


I say he was right and this is why our current Michigan team is what they are and what they will continue to be until a leader is brought to give direction to a seemingly lost program.





October 18th, 2014 at 1:18 PM ^

In fairness to Hoke he DOES reposition himself closer to the ball when he stands there with his arms folded with no clipboard, no headset and doing nothing.
That other guy Bo was talking about who just stayed on the 50? Complete loser.

Sac Fly

October 18th, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

Minus the headset, it's also a spot on description of Lovie Smith. This fanbase has just become fixated on the fact that because Hoke doesn't wear a headset and we're not winning, it must be the reason.

As if how the coach stands on the sideline has anything to do with how the team plays.


October 18th, 2014 at 1:38 PM ^

I think what people are getting at is what the fuck is Hoke actually doing? He keeps telling us about great practices, but that doesn't materialize on game day. He doesn't call plays on either side of the ball and I'm not exactly sure he has the knowledge to do so. His supposed speciality of defensive line coaching hasn't materialized into a great defensive line, given his so called expertise and the amount of personal attention they supposedly get. On game days he just stands there. If you just delegate to Nuss whether to go for it on 4th down, what exactly does Hoke do during the week and during the game that justifies him being in the top 10 of highest paid coaches?

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

Sac Fly

October 18th, 2014 at 1:41 PM ^

Those are good points, but that's not what this post is about.

This post is about a terrible high school coach Bo saw who stood on the sideline with his arms folded with no headset, so by transitive property Hoke must be terrible too because he does the same thing.


October 18th, 2014 at 3:46 PM ^

How about being totally clueless when it came to Shane Morris when he got clobbered, during and after the game!

Sending Morris back in!

10 men on the field over and over and over and over again.

Ridiculous clock management.

No in game adjustments.

No player progress.

He appears to be as engaged as a typical fan, but certainly does not appear to be managing the game.


October 18th, 2014 at 5:02 PM ^

that he seems LESS engaged that some fans.  I would argue that I seem to have a better grasp on what is going on in the game while watching from home than he does.  Of course, I have the advantage of replays and the broadcasters, etc., but I seem to have a much better understanding of what is actually happening in the game than Hoke ever does.


Contrast that to watching a game coached by Belichick or Harbaugh.  Those guys ALWAYS know EXACTLY what is going on.  They may not make the right call all the time, but it isn't because they are clueless. 


October 19th, 2014 at 2:42 AM ^

This is something that has been completely swept under the rug.


Actually Hoke DOES HAVE "the advantage of replays and the broadcasters, etc."

In 2011, the NCAA Football Rulebook updated to allow "televisions with access to the live broadcast feed" in the Coach's Booth.

The problem is that with Hoke not wearing a headset, he is not able to get the oh-so-necessary rapid feedback that would allow the coaching staff to take advantage of the live broadcast which does include multiple angle replays and commentary (albeit sometimes the commentary seems BLIND to the replays themselves).


The problem with Hoke is that he seems ludicrously over-attached with "tradition", not in the conceptual sense, but the behavioral sense, "rules and rituals" so to speak.

So much so, that he isn't getting with the time, updating every little aspect of the week-long preparation that every other successful program seems to be doing. (i.e. we have yet to see even one second of hurry-up--which has proven successful for ANY program regardless of scheme--or, for instance, any, at all, "trickeration" plays, that even freaking Lloyd Carr used to run every other, if not every single, game.

Hoke seems so ensnared by "tradition" that it's actually hurting the program. The "assuredness" of sticking to tradition is comforting, and you'll never "feel wrong" when carrying it out (as with all cultural rules and rituals anywhere), but while he's circumventing the "doubt, hesitation, and uncertainty that comes with trying anything new", he's also SEVERELY hindering this team from moving forward. By scheme, by player, by program, by dynamic play-calling, by adjustments, by team identity (that should grow OUT OF the ~120 players, not be PUT INTO them (e.g. let Gardner BE GARDNER, etc.)




The Morris incident, for me was pivotal, in my opinion of Hoke as a "valuable" Head-Coach.

But not for the same reasons as everyone else.

As aforementioned, each team CAN HAVE TVs with the the live broadcast in the Coach's Booth, so either:

A) They DO NOT HAVE THEM. Which is the microcosm that completely represents the macrocosm of why this team has A-mazing talent coming in, and isn't winning AT ALL, which is, that this Coaching Program is simply not pro-actively utilizing every advantage possible. Either from ineptitude e.g "we didn't know we could have a T.V." or blatant refusal, e.g. "We don't have one because we dont see an advantage", or some goofy 'tradition' stance, e.g. "That isn't what we do here at Michigan/we get along just fine doing it our own way"


B) They DO HAVE A TV. And it wasn't even noticed, e.g. "they don't use it". Or they tried but couldn't communicate it, e.g. "Hoke doesn't wear a head-set". Or they DID SEE IT and gave zero f**ks abou it, e.g.  "The program, and upstairs assistants are EVIL".


Since the last one isn't likely. Then one of the numerous scenarios are what happened, and, ALL of them are damning to the program and ultimately Brady Hoke.


You don't have a TV in the booth: You gotta go, dude. You're a pure idiot

You do have a TV in the booth: Hmm, so you didn't/weren't able to communicate it? Oh, because he has no headset on...? Ahhh. You gotta go still, dude. You're still a pure idiot.


Neither are acceptable.


October 18th, 2014 at 1:40 PM ^

I see where Bo is going with this, but there is one key part of the equation that is missing: The distance from the action.

Hoke positions his communication guy directly behind him, and Hoke is always right up at the front of the sideline, watching his players intently. He interacts with them a great deal when they come off the field, too.

I'll never quite understand how we can both try to condemn Hoke for being disengaged in the game via no headset and simultaneously try to condemn Hoke for clapping on the sideline when his players come off.

Then again, many season far better than Emeril, as the saying goes.


October 18th, 2014 at 2:12 PM ^

'll never quite understand how we can both try to condemn Hoke for being disengaged in the game via no headset and simultaneously try to condemn Hoke for clapping on the sideline when his players come off.

Of all Hoke's limitations and/or failings, I am least bothered by his not wearing a headset. That said, not wearing one suggests that he has delegated head coach responsibilities, and clapping suggests being a mere cheerleader---they are consistent with the meme of being "being disengaged".


October 18th, 2014 at 4:04 PM ^

In 2011, Hoke was brilliant for removing himself from play calling because he recognized that if he micromanaged, he'd probably be unsuccessful as he doesn't recognize himself as an offensive coach.

Now, he is being punished for the same, because it means he's disengaged.

The only real difference is W-L record. So let's be honest and forward about what we're actually saying: Hoke needs to adapt to his W-L record.

Except that seems to imply that his coordinators are fundamentally incompetent. As each has at least one if not multiple NC rings from time spent as coordinators, this is improbable.

So my question to anyone who is making mountains of this molehill: What, exactly, does Hoke accomplish by putting on a headset, or the cessation of cheering on his players?


October 18th, 2014 at 7:00 PM ^

In 2011 Hoke and the team got a ton of lucky breaks- +9 on fumble recoveries- thats mostly just luck and how the ball bounces- played an interim coach at OSU with their program collapsing, sparty lost the CG and would have been in our bowl

The luck covered up a lot


October 18th, 2014 at 7:34 PM ^

wear headsets is irrelevent? There is a reason why the do so. Communicating with coaches in the press box as well as those on the field provides a coach with a feel for the game as opposed to getting impressions as a fan. There is a huge difference.


October 19th, 2014 at 11:10 AM ^

wearing a headset can only get one more information.  so why not wear it?  you would think hoke would want to know what play is being called before it actually occurs so he can better analyze the play as it is being run.

plus, he could chime in with his coordinators every now and then, you know, like a good coach would.


October 18th, 2014 at 4:28 PM ^

"I'll never quite understand how we can both try to condemn Hoke for being disengaged in the game via no headset and simultaneously try to condemn Hoke for clapping on the sideline when his players come off."


For the clapping, have you ever really seen Hoke rip into any of his players after making mistakes?  When the offense stalls, or turns it over, in a crucial situation, he claps as they come of the field and then watches the punt team enter, probably with not enough guys on the field.


I was infuriated in the concussion game in the first or second quarter when Morris threw an incompletion that forced a punt and he came off the field all smiles like he didn't care.  Why didn't he care?  Beecause no matter how much he screws up, his head coach will just clap for him and say "Well uh, gosh Shane, we'll get em next time!"

It's funny, people on here (myself included) made fun of that moment Brian Kelly blew up on the sideline and his face was a red as a tomato.  But look at his teams on a consistent basis as opposed to Hoke's.  He has shown consistency in winning.  He won 8 his forst two years, then went to the NCG, then won 9 last year, and currently 6-0.  Where as Hoke started out on fire, and that fire quickly was extinguished.


My point is, Hoke shows no passion/fire out there.  And his team is extremely reflective of that.