Who's the Problem? A Fanbase Perspective

Submitted by Noleverine on October 28th, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Update 2: It is done! See the results in the diary.


Update: Holy crap. I totally underestimated the number of responses here. I love this site. There are already 435, and I can only see the first 100. Obviously this limits the validity of my findings, but as I said earlier, this isn't reallym science. I'm going to take some time to review them and will update once I do.


Reading through the abundance of content today, I found myself noticing some patterns, and I wanted to see if they bore out as I expect. I won't go into it here as not to bias the results. I'd appreciate taking the 30 seconds to complete the survey.

Nothing groundbreaking here, and this survey will do absolutely no good other than to sate my own curiosity. It may provide some interesting perspective on the divisions in the fanbase, or could end up showing nothing. This is the life of a researcher. 

Seeing as this is an internet survey on a sports message board, with a limited number of allowed responses obviously limits the generalizability of the results. I am a researcher by day, so I understand the shortcomings here. As was said in the title, this is very unscientific. (Obvious sampling bias, etc.).


Without further ado, here is the survey. I will update with results once the maximum number of responses have been recorded.




October 28th, 2014 at 7:36 PM ^

Took it. Look forward to the results but unless you're a newb to the board, you already know which way the prevailing currents are flowing here.


October 28th, 2014 at 7:41 PM ^

Yeah, I've been around a while. I actually started reading around the blogspot days. Created a new username a few years ago because I forgot my old password. But yes, there is something very specific I am looking at, beyond "Fire Brandon/Fire Hoke!"


October 28th, 2014 at 7:45 PM ^

If you noticed something today, and you wanted to talk about it, why not just say what you want to say? This survey can't provide you with "interesting perspective" -- you'll simply get four binary responses from everyone, in one of the most biased populations imaginable. This survey can't possibly tell you, or us, anything at all.

You don't even give us any clues as to what it's about. This is not the way to discuss anything.


October 28th, 2014 at 7:51 PM ^

The lack of clues is as not to bias it, as I said.

I didn't bring it up, because I don't know if my inkling is accurate or not. Hence why I am doing the research. And lord knows that if I don't do my due diligence, I will get lambasted on this board. (sorry, I had to- love you, WD).


October 28th, 2014 at 7:45 PM ^

There's an argument to be made that next year's team will be better/stronger than this year from a roster standpoint (I don't really see it, but we do return a lot of guys).  With that being the case, I think the decision to fire Hoke depends a great deal on who the replacement is.

Firing Rodriguez may have been an okay idea if Jim Harbaugh was waiting in the wings.  He wasn't, and things worked out about as poorly as possible.  In the same vein, replacing Hoke with the equivalent of 2011 Brady Hoke doesn't get us anywhere, especially if next year's team is in any way set up for success like it was for 2011 Brady Hoke.

Waiting one year and getting the right guy (whether that is Hoke or another candidate) is much better than riding the ND treadmill for another decade.

That's why I didn't answer that yes/no question on the survey.


October 28th, 2014 at 8:34 PM ^

I agree.


And I think that my be the role that Doug Nussmeier may play if indeed Hoke is let go without a suitable replacement.


Also, I would be curious to see what kind of program Nuss can run. Clearly the offense has struggled. But Aj McAaronn said it himself that Saban "handcuffs" his coordinators, and while I'm sure Hoke doesn't do it in the same manner. "Tradition" in istelf is a type of hand-cuffing, coulpled with Nuss not being a "michigan man" (simply in the sense of having the traditions ingrained in him), I'm sure Nuss is very "yes-yes, anything" towards Hoke & C. at this point.

But given Nussmeier's success, and desire to be an H.C., I can't help but be immensely curious on what he would do if given the rein's. He seems likeable, articulate, and fired up on the field, and comes from a winning pedigree.

And of course, you could target the train-wreck that has been the Off. this year, but I wouldn't necessarily place it all on him. Funk, has had 4 years to develop an o-line, Gardner has had 5 years to learn to read a defense, WRs have had 4+ years to develop. In short, Nuss inherited what is clearly a ramshackle offense, cobbled together by complete buffoonery. And that's just what's in "plain sight". With Hoke and UM's incredible downward spiral, just who the fvck knows, what kind of buffoonery is going on behind closed doors (e.g. "I wasn't aware" nearly every damn week it seems).


October 28th, 2014 at 8:02 PM ^

If the next hire fails I could see the program falling so far that it may take 10+ years to recover. That being said there is no way in hell that hoke can coach this team next year.

My vote is to go after les miles. Should have hired him when Carr left, but they didn't and this may be the last chance.

snarling wolverine

October 28th, 2014 at 10:23 PM ^

Why?  At a blue blood school, you'd figure the school would do its homework better at some point and find the right guy.  

Hiring Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis didn't make it harder for ND to land Brian Kelly, nor did Alabama's shitshow for a decade prevent them from landing Saban.  RichRod and Hoke are not going to prevent us from making a good hire.  It's up to us.





Blue Ninja

October 28th, 2014 at 8:04 PM ^

There's no guarantee that there is a better coach waiting out there next year. By next year Jim Harbaugh's status should be cleared up. If he and the 49ers depart ways as is rumored this is the year to strike while the iron is hot. Otherwise it's all a crapshoot as to who is going to be the new hot flavor of the year. I can understand if wanting someone like Mike Stoops is your ultimate goal to make sure he can sustain success but I don't think that's UM's goal.

That said what coach is available next year? No one knows because contracts really don't mean anything. It's all about who is looking to move, who is hot, etc. There's no one outside Jim or Miles in the Michigan coaching tree capable of this job. Waiting another year on Miles isn't wise and like I said Jim's availability next season is unlikely. The only other scenario that makes sense is to give a new AD another year to start a coaching searc but do we really want to suffer another year of this? Do we want to see the players at Michigan go another year without any improvement? At that point Shane Morris won't be able to hit the broad side of a barn as a senior, bring in a new coach now and Shane at least has 2 years in the system, that's just one example.

So that begs another question. If Hoke manages to win 8 games next year with a more favorable home schedule, do we keep him? Are you confident he can develop talent and improve this team? I think he's lost the confidence of fans and recruits at this point, he's damaged goods to keep going forward and no one will want to come play here with a lame duck coach.


October 28th, 2014 at 8:17 PM ^

Obviously if you can get Harbaugh (or Miles, IMO) you fire Hoke.  I'm not saying otherwise.  They are proven commodities. 

To use your example (and assuming you mean Kentucky's Mark Stoops, not his brother who got fired at Arizona), I would rather give Hoke a shot with 9 or 10 starters back on offense (depending on Funchess) and basically 9 starters back on D than take a shot on a guy with a 7-13 career record (2-11 in the SEC).  Especially if he might have initial success followed by a 3-4 year decline and extend the pain. 

To me who you get makes the decision for you.  I personally don't think Hoke will work out even if he gets another year, but unlike the idiots who fucked up Michigan football, I'm willing to concede I might be wrong and let it play out unless there is a much better option available.  ND gave Weis a fifth year and it worked out fine.  The same can happen here.  Getting the right guy is what counts.

Ghost of Fritz…

October 28th, 2014 at 11:40 PM ^

I think that your analysis has omitted one very important factor.  Hoke has to either be fired or get an extension.  Letting  him stay for a 5th year without an extension is really not a viable option.

Keeping Hoke for a 5th year without an extension would completely undermine recruiting (which is already falling apart for 2015).  This would be true even if the record this year were better (say 6-2 as opposed to 3-5, so far). 

Even if the product on the field were not a deal killer for recruits, a failure to give an extension at the end of year 4 with just 24 months remaining on the contract would deter better recruits from choosing/considering Michigan in 2015, 2016, and beyond.

This thing has reached a tipping point.  A point of no return.  Obviously an extention is completely out of the question.  Therefore, there is no real alternative but to dismiss Hoke, even if that means hiring a '2nd tier' option as the replacement because the top options don't want the job,

So it is probably not really right to say that 'who you get makes the decision for you.'  That might be the case if timing of the extention issue were not present.  Instead, the terrible results in year four, plus a contract extension issue, makes this a done deal.  There really is not viable alternative. 



Its me Dave

October 28th, 2014 at 8:22 PM ^

Even as a card-carrying member of the torch and pitchfork crowd, I really agree with your call for patience to get the right guy.  This is where I think Schlissel's deliberate approach may pay long-term benefits.  I know he's the Pres, not the AD, but this is his issue and I don't think he will allow outrage to dictate timing.  (Which is sure to infuriate a lot of fans)


October 28th, 2014 at 8:15 PM ^

I skipped the "should Hoke be fired" question although it is fairly obvious he will be when the season is over.  I skipped it because a decision should be made at the end of the year.

It is highly unlikely but not impossible that Michigan could beat Indiana, Northwestern, Maryland and OSU (yes, this one would be quite the shocker) and look like an improving football team thus finishing the year winning 5 of 6.  If this happens, you could make a case for bringing Hoke back next year.  For this reason, I'll wait until the year is over to say Hoke should be fired.

I also skipped the "who is doing more damage" question because I found it unnecessarily negative.  Who is more responsible for the state of the program would ask the same question without being negative.

For all of Hoke's lack of wins on the field, Hoke has clearly made a huge upgrade in the talent on the roster compared to when he arrived.  The best thing that would happen if he was fired (IF, IF, IF, IF, IF we get a great coach) is that the roster is poised to be good next year.  The new coach could easily have a near Hoke-like first season with plenty of talent on the roster for 2016 and beyond.  All of the bad would be swept aside with Hoke being gone and the new guy would look like a savior.

Of course, once Hoke is fired, we could also not get either Harbaugh or Les Miles and get a second tier candidate, have many players who loved Hoke transfer and be doomed to mediocrity for the next 4 years.  Sigh. . . 





October 28th, 2014 at 8:20 PM ^

The wording was leadingly negative; you're right. However, it was a term I heard used during a debate on who should be fired first, and it kind of stuck with me.

In terms of actual research, you're right. The wording is biased, but it does not lend itself to a biased answering of the question. Just biased that our program is in rough shape due to the actions of one (or both) of them. For that reason, it shouldn't negatively affect my results.

bj dickey

October 28th, 2014 at 9:48 PM ^

Unfortunately, you've identified a real potential problem, and one reason that If Harbaugh or some other home run isn't available, that you could conceivably end up with Brady even if he finishes 500. I be
I've we would do more harm than good if we get a second rate coach who runs a different offensive philosophy. Such as Stitt, etc.


October 28th, 2014 at 8:19 PM ^

Another survey I like is the one Avinash and iPerceptions created. What was your task, did you accomplish said task on the site, if not, why not.

I agree the simpler the better because even if you have a long, detailed survey people are going to just start filling in answers randomly.

Moonlight Graham

October 28th, 2014 at 8:54 PM ^

that would create a "top 7" or "top 3" coaching candidates that this board would want to see come here. Brian and Ace could curate the list to include only coaches who would at least somewhat plausibly come here (so no Bill Snyders, Tony Dungys or any Grudens), then respondents would pick a top 5. The Harbaughs and Mullen would probably be the top 3, but it would be interesting to see how the board collectively might rank choices 4-7 or 4-10. 

If, for example, there are a strong 4 and 5 such as Mark Stoops and Butch Jones, but then a serious drop-off or totally scattered list 6-10, then we may be in trouble. I don't think you can keep Hoke under any circumstances but we need to seriously consider "who's better than Nussmeier." If it's a "top 5" and then "chasm," we may want to roll with Nuss and see how things go, then revisit the landscape in 2015-16. 

Wish I had time to put this together. 


October 29th, 2014 at 12:17 AM ^

Of those associated with the University, 24% placed the majority of blame on Hoke. 86% placed the majority of the blame on Brandon.

This confirms that those associated with the University of Michigan will give 110% to any cause that matters.